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February 11, 2007

A Cheerful Thought

Two months ago, I reported that I was getting about 2,000 comment spam messages a day. Today, the number is closer to 3,000 a day. Ah, the march of progress.

(Note: this is not an appeal for help, or an excuse for another of you WordPress zombies to try to get me to switch. You'll note that you don't see 3k spam messages a day. And honestly, the only real way for me to get rid of comment spam is to get rid of comments. Which I'm not planning to do.)

Posted by john at February 11, 2007 10:07 AM

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Ronaldo | February 11, 2007 10:33 AM

It's been a long time since I used MovableType, but I believe it's certainly possible to implement a solution for it on the lines of what Ned Batchelder describes on his blog that will reduce the quantity of messages in your moderation queue, thereby reducing the time you need to spend on it every day--and all that without having to switch to Wordpress. :-)

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 10:37 AM

Well, 99% of everything gets caught, and the amount of time I spend managing the rest is trivial, so I'm not complaining about the time spent managing spam. I'm just noting how much the site gets: A lot, and increasing.

Michelle in Colorado Springs | February 11, 2007 11:11 AM

Could it be because you have become more popular?

Dan Bailey | February 11, 2007 11:17 AM

That's because my Wordpress-driven blog is nowhere near popular enough to get large amounts of spam. :-)

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 11:18 AM


"Could it be because you've become more popular?"

Well, I am, with spammers, at least.

In fact readership is up at the Whatever since December, but not by 50%, as the spam is.

Chang who gots flavor | February 11, 2007 11:52 AM

The only comments I get are spam!!!

Justine Larbalestier | February 11, 2007 11:56 AM

I don't think it's just a popularity thing. My blog gets no where near the traffic John's does but a couple of weeks back I was being hit with more than two thousand per day. But now it has dwindled to a mere trickle.

I just wish that has online spam increased offline junk mail would decrease. And yet that does not seem to be happening . . .

The new background is very restful, Scalzi. "Calm blue ocean. Calm blue ocean." Looks like I no longer have to swallow the Little Book of Calm---I can just come here.

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 11:59 AM

It's actually the sky above my house. Indeed, if you have a large enough monitor, you'll see both my house and my lawn down at the bottom. But as the picture is 1920x1277, it'll have to be a fairly large monitor.

Joe Rybicki | February 11, 2007 12:21 PM

That there is a great pic. And I am envious of your wraparound porch.

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 12:24 PM

Yes. Three cheers for cheap Midwest living!

Justine Larbalestier | February 11, 2007 12:38 PM

Scalzi: I'm aware it's the sky. It was a Black Books reference. Oh never mind! Mutter. Mutter. Bloody Americans.

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 12:40 PM


"I'm aware it's the sky."

Well, I'm aware you're aware it's the sky. I'm just providing context. Mutter, mutter indeed.

Justine Larbalestier | February 11, 2007 12:54 PM

Oh, just go watch Black Books!!

But thank you for the context. Tis a lovely photo of the sky. And my favourite of your backgrounds.

Bookninja | February 11, 2007 01:55 PM

A very nice place, but I'm a city boy.

John | February 11, 2007 02:04 PM

Chang: The only comments I get are spam!!!

Probably because you use Wordpress.

I used to use MT. One entry maxed out at 130 comments. Then I switched to WordPress. And now I'm lucky to get 1 or 2.

fastfinge | February 11, 2007 02:25 PM

Move back to livejournal. None of us ever get any. It's the advantage of ignoring the entire rest of the blogosphere; rss comments? trackbacks? who needs 'em! Well, that and the fact that nobody ever reads anyone's livejournal for any reason. :-)

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 02:30 PM

Move back to livejournal? This place outdates all of LJ quite comfortably, thank you very much!

Primate | February 11, 2007 04:50 PM

Chang, what you get isn't spam. It's just our plot against you.

Ray | February 11, 2007 08:08 PM

Mr John...
This is EXACTLY why you are getting so much spam.
Actually I will send the reason in a email. I just hope is is not marked as spam. I would post the reason here but I do not think it would be appropriate...

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 08:42 PM

Ray, the reason you sent has nothing to do with the spam comments I get on the Web site, although it might have something to do with why I get spam in my e-mail box. Also, after having had my e-mail address generally available out there for eight and a half years, I doubt that removing it from a couple of places at this point will make much of a difference.

Ellen | February 11, 2007 09:53 PM

WordPress and braaaaaaains!

KafkaesquĆ­ | February 11, 2007 10:39 PM

You'll note that you don't see 3k spam messages a day.

And with that, John's psychic abilities was shown to be similar to Sylvia Browne's*.

* That would be non-existent. Sorry, John.

Ray | February 12, 2007 03:48 AM

Sorry I saw spam and of course thought email. Just goes to show you. Schnaaps and internet do not mix and will effect you reading and comprehension skills. :)

Stephanie | February 12, 2007 09:47 AM

You don't have to switch to WordPress to take advantage of its spam-catcher: the plugin in question is available for lots of other platforms, including Movable Type.

You do have to register for a free blog with wordpress.com in order to get a key to use it, which is asinine but painless.

Mark | February 14, 2007 12:04 AM

@Stephanie: But if he did make the jump to WordPress, he could also use other really, really good anti-comment spam plugins like Bad-Behavior.

Now did somebody mention something about a light snack of braaaaaaains!

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